Sunday, July 22, 2012

DisOrientation: You Got Off the Boat

DisOrientation is currently happening, meaning there is a lot of reflection going on--how life has changed in the last year, how to say goodbye, etc.

Something that has struck me is remembering the night of August 6, 2011. We had an opening mass for JVC Orientation on the beach and the priest spoke about the story of Jesus's disciples on the boat. Jesus miraculously walked on the water toward the disciples' boat during a storm, and Peter called out, "if it is you, Lord, tell me to get off the boat and walk to you" (on the water, as Jesus was doing). Jesus does, and Peter walks toward him. He then gets scared and starts sinking, and Jesus saves him and tells him he should not have doubted.

The priest took this story to describe the journey we were embarking in our year of JVC. That we would need to have faith to carry us through, but the fact that we were even there at orientation meant that we had gotten off the boat.

Toward the end of orientation, we each got a piece of paper to write a simple reflection of what we learned/would carry with us for the coming year. We wrote many phrases such as "AMDG" or from different speakers we'd had or activities we'd done. We hung them up on the wall at the retreat center. What had continually stayed with me that week was that I had taken this chance, I had gotten off the boat. I wrote "YOU GOT OFF THE BOAT."

We got to DisO today and the retreat center is decorated with many of the things we have made at retreats over this year, including those phrases. Why, I don't know, but mine is hanging on the podium. I hope it serves as a reminder to have faith, and get off the boat.

Monday, July 9, 2012

What I've Been Reading

The Role of Men in the Fight Against Sexism

This is powerful writing asserting that masculinity does not have to depend on demeaning women. Favorite quotes:

Fuck society’s standards of manhood, telling us that we need to be tough, emotionless, violent, and sexist to be a man. 

Come on men, let’s break free. Let’s all stand together and say sexism will no longer exist in our name. It starts with simply listening to women and letting them speak about their oppression, but it ends with a unified fight.

Another powerful article on street harassment and what it feels like as a black woman. (Sidenote, on Saturday, Sonia and I were walking around and got meowed at. As in a man said "MEOW" when we walked by.) This article is about a woman and her harassment due to the dress she was wearing.

This video has been going around: an anti-domestic violence PSA inviting women to not cover up their abuse.

There was a shooting in South Central (a few actually) on 4th of July. This video on the story shows the press conference, in which the mother and stepmother of the young woman who was killed, speak. I've watched this video a few times in the last few days, and every single time I get chills. There is so much truth to these words:

For so long, we’ve upheld them in their wrong because they’re our brothers, our cousins, our family and we uphold them when they’re wrong and that’s why this is allowed to continue. How many of our kids have to die to uphold a war? A war that doesn’t exist; it’s in our minds, it’s in everybody’s minds. There’s no war. There’s causalities on both sides and nobody’s gonna win.